New and Used Performance Boats for Sale

Performance boats are fast-going vessels that are optimized for speed on the water. Search below for performance boats for sale by size, brand, price, year, and more.

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About Performance Boats


What Are Performance Boats?

Performance boats are designed to operate optimally at high speeds. As a type of power boat, the focus is usually speed and power, so the engines are usually a vital part of the boat. A performance vessel can range in size from 20 to 50 feet plus, with different power configurations from outboards, center consoles, to larger inboards. Depending on use – offshore fishing, racing, entertainment, even day cruising – the exterior can also vary. Some may be built with a smaller cockpit while others may include more complete interiors with living space for weekends away and cockpits with ample seating and shade for larger parties. What they tend to have in common is their propensity for speed, with some models reaching speeds of more than 100 miles per hour on the water. Go-fast boats like the Cigarette boat is one example of a performance boat. You can read more about performance boats below.

These speedy boats offer owners and guests something that an ordinary motor yacht cannot – the thrill of planing on the water. In the right waters, and done safely, these fast boats cannot only get you to your destination in a hurry, they do so with top performance because of the way they are constructed. The most common hull design for these high-performing boats is the traditional vee-bottom. These hulls offer excellent speed and a soft ride, especially in rougher waters. Called a “deadrise”, the angle of the V will determine the softness as well as the radius of the keel line and the use of strakes. If you are mostly going to drive the boat in open waters, consider the traditional V bottom. For the more experienced boatsman, the catamaran bottom is also fast. The boat speeds on two hulls that are separated by a tunnel; the air that goes into the tunnel creates a lift as the speed of the boat increases; the wet surfaces and drag are then reduced and this enhances the speed and the quality of the ride.

What is a Performance Boat Made of (Construction Material/Hull Design)?

A performance boat can be crafted from a variety of construction materials, including wood, fiberglass, metal, and composites. As a boat designed primarily for speed, a planing hull, with a possible V-shaped configuration. This hull type allows for vessels to quickly climb onto the plane with a minimum of water resistance. You might also see performance yachts with a catamaran hull form, another fast hull shape. With speed the ultimate goal, these boats usually are very responsive and sensitive at high speeds.

Why You Should Buy a Performance Boat

If fast is your middle name and you enjoy the feeling of the wind rushing through your hair, you might be suited to these fast machines. Some high-performance vessels are primed for racing, so if that’s your passion, how can you not indulge? Take out one of these sleek and sexy speedsters for a spin and enjoy the looks you’ll get as you zoom past and leave everyone behind in your wake. Or you could do some day cruising and merely enjoy spending your time in the sun out on the water. Or perhaps, if you’re a fisherman, those models can offer a better platform to indulge your passion for fishing. But maybe you’re all about the water sports – take the boat out for some waterskiing or wakeboarding and enjoy a little fun in the sun.

What are Types of Performance Speedboats?

Some popular brands for these high-performing speedsters include Cigarette boats, Fountain Power Boats, and more. Although not a brand name, the catamaran speed boat is definitely on the list of go-fast boats as well, as are monohulled center consoles. Aside from looking to speed across the water, many of these boats are used for day cruising and racing. Day cruising afficionados will use a speed boat to get to their destination faster, so they can enjoy more time with family and friends. Racing afficionados will scour the globe for the fastest boat they can find so they can relish in the thrill of racing on the water. Read more below on the types of speedsters that offered for this very reason, and more.

Cigarette Boats

Cigarette boats can reach up to 90 knots on the water – that’s fast! These sexy boats have a long, narrow body, which makes them ideal for traveling at high speeds. They range in size from 28 to 48 feet, so they can be quite big for a boat that goes that fast. During Prohibition, these boats were known as run runners, and were used to move alcohol from larger ships to shore. Because of their higher speeds, the patrol boats were unable to catch them, which made them so useful during this time. The reason for its name, Cigarette, was due to the owner who started the company, Don Aronow, who named his first boat The Cigarette, which won first place in the United States Championship. Due to the success of the boat, he renamed his entire company Cigarette and since then, the name has been associated with any fast, narrow speedster that graces our waters.

Fountain Boats

Fountain Powerboats was founded by Regie Fountain in 1979; the company is all about constructing speed boats. Now owned by the Custom Marine Group, the brand has produced top-quality boats that are focused on speed, performance, handling, reliability, and safety. The company builds these speedsters ranging from 24 to 77 feet and includes high powered center consoles and Thunder Cats. The company designs and builds sport cruisers, sportfishing boats and speedboats that provide top performance, luxury, and of course – style. These powerful boats are innovative, and their distribution network extends all around the world. These boats tend to hold their value over decades and have existed for over 40 years. Due to their lightweight hull designs, their boats offer a smooth ride, even in rougher waters.

Catamaran Speed Boats

Catamaran speeds boats are sometimes considered better than their deep-V, mono-hulled counterparts. Due to the fact that the catamaran packs air under their hulls, they can benefit from what is known as less of a “wetted area”, so they are able to take more advantage of their horsepower. The more the wetted area under a boat, the more drag – which means less speed. With more drag, there is more stress on the engines because water is sticky. This is what makes catamarans the fastest high-performance boats; they will always be faster than a monohull of the same size, even if they have identical power. The more current catamarans are capable of speeds up to and more than 150 miles per hour on the water.

Center Console Speedsters

The reason center console boats are even in this category is because they are capable of very high speeds due to their nature of being sportfishing machines. In tournaments, boats must get to the offshore location as fast as possible in order take advantage of the hot spots and get their catch. This is essential, which makes them the choice of boat for many avid anglers. There are many builders of center console boats including Fountain and Donzi. The center console offers more deck space than the traditional performance boat, and also offers 360-degree fishability and many will come with underwater lights for nighttime fishing. This means that they offer unobstructed walkways all around the boat, making them ideal when fighting fish in a tournament or just while out enjoying sportfishing. Because they have large powered outboard engines, they are able to offer incomparable speeds to that of traditional sportfishing boats with tuna towers.

Popular Outboard Engines

Some highly used outboard engines offer great horsepower that helps propel the boat to higher speeds. These brands include Mercury (Mercury racing), Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and more. These outboard motors are self-contained units that feature an engine, gearbox and a propeller that are fitted to the stern of the boat, sitting on the outside of the hull – at the back of the vessel. These outboard engines not only provide the propulsion needed for speed, they also offer steering control because they pivot and control the direction of the force. Because they are mounted outside of the boat, this makes maintenance much easier than if they were built into the boat. The only drawback is that because of where they are mounted, the boat cannot offer a swim platform.